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What Do We Expect from Our Friends?

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Author Info

  • Stephen Leider

    (Singapore Management University)

  • Markus M. Mobius
  • Tanya Rosenblat
  • Quoc-Anh Do

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment in a large real-world social network to examine how subjects expect to be treated by their friends and by strangers who make allocation decisions in modified dictator games. While recipients beliefs accurately account for the extent to which friends will choose more generous allocations than strangers (i.e. directed altruism), recipients are not able to anticipate individual differences in the baseline altruism of allocators (measured by giving to an unnamed recipient, which is predictive of generosity towards named recipients). Recipients who are direct friends with the allocator, or even recipients with many common friends, are no more accurate in recognizing intrinsically altruistic allocators. Recipient be- liefs are significantly less accurate than the predictions of an econometrician who knows the allocators demographic characteristics and social distance, suggesting recipients do not have information on unobservable characteristics of the allocator.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Microeconomics Working Papers with number 23053.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eab:microe:23053

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Related research

Keywords: dictator games; beliefs; baseline altruism; directed altruism; social networks;

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References

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  1. Markus Mobius & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Trust and Social Collateral," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 13126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  3. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851, November.
  4. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
  5. Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers, UCLA Department of Economics 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Luis Miller, 2009. "Are women expected to be more generous?," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 93-98, March.
  7. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  8. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," ISER Discussion Paper, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University 0614, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  9. Kolm,Serge-Christophe, 2009. "Reciprocity," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521123204.
  10. Kovarik, Jaromir & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," DFAEII Working Papers, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II 2009-05, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  11. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 2002. "Do players correctly estimate what others do? : Evidence of conservatism in beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 71-85, January.
  12. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
  13. Neel Rao & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat, 2007. "Social networks and vaccination decisions," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 07-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  14. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni, 2006. "Altruism in the (Social) Network," DFAEII Working Papers, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II 2006-04, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mobius, Markus & Do, Quoc-Anh & Leider, Stephen & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Scholarly Articles, Harvard University Department of Economics 3054685, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) SP II 2013-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Christine Binzel & Dietmar Fehr, 2010. "Social Relationships and Trust," Working Papers, Economic Research Forum 542, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2010.
  4. Alistair Wilson & Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Leeat Yariv, 2009. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," Working Papers, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics 486, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2011.
  5. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth & Thomas Pitz, 2010. "At the Mercy of the Prisoner Next Door. Using an Experimental Measure of Selfishness as a Criminological Tool," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  6. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2012. "The Impact of Social Ties on Group Interactions: Evidence from Minimal Groups and Randomly Assigned Real Groups," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 101-15, February.
  7. Monic Sun & Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang & Feng Zhu, 2012. "To Belong or to Be Different? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment in China," Working Papers, NET Institute 12-15, NET Institute, revised Oct 2012.
  8. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  9. Fabian Winter & Mitesh Kataria, 2013. "You Are Who Your Friends Are: An Experiment on Trust and Homophily in Friendship Networks," Jena Economic Research Papers, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics 2013-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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